Senator Martha McSally visits Graham and Greenlee counties

Contributed Photo: Sen. Martha McSally, R-Arizona, center, poses for a picture with local business and government leaders in Graham County on Monday.

By Jon Johnson

GRAHAM AND GREENLEE COUNTIES – Sen. Martha McSally, R-Arizona, visited Graham and Greenlee counties Monday and met with community government and business leaders. 

McSally, a retired colonel with the United States Air Force, narrowly lost an election bid to the Senate to Krysten Sinema, D, Arizona, who became Arizona’s first woman senator. McSally was then appointed by Governor Doug Ducey to fulfill two years of former Sen. John Mccain’s term until the 2020 election cycle. 

U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl had held the seat since being initially appointed by Ducey after McCain’s death but resigned. Kyl had previously advised he would serve the position until the session of Congress and did not desire to continue for the entire cycle until 2020. Ducey was required by law to appoint someone of the same party as McCain. 

On Tuesday, McSally joined a host of business and local government leaders at the Graham County General Services Building to discuss the cost of doing business amid high overhead and government regulations, including the new increased minimum wage requirements; border security; the drug epidemic, and the cost that illegal immigration is putting on the legal system and local medical centers. 

After meeting leaders in Graham County, McSally toured Freeport McMoRan Inc.’s Morenci Operations and met with business and government leaders in Greenlee County.

McSally will likely run for election in 2020 in a bid to serve a complete six-year term in Congress. 

Mark Kelly recently announced that he would run for the Senate seat in 2020 as well. Kelly is a former astronaut and Navy pilot, and is the husband to former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, LD-8. Kelly will run as a Democrat. 

Giffords was shot in an assassination attempt by Jared Lee Loughner on Jan. 8, 2011, while at a public meeting outside of a Safeway in Tucson. Loughner killed six and wounded 18 in the shooting. Giffords returned to the House floor Aug. 1, 2011, but then resigned Jan. 25, 2012, to concentrate on her recovery.